|Publication number||US8587293 B2|
|Application number||US 12/684,158|
|Publication date||19 Nov 2013|
|Filing date||8 Jan 2010|
|Priority date||13 Jan 2009|
|Also published as||DE102009004448A1, DE102009004448B4, US20100176800|
|Publication number||12684158, 684158, US 8587293 B2, US 8587293B2, US-B2-8587293, US8587293 B2, US8587293B2|
|Inventors||Stephan Biber, Thorsten Feiweier, Wolfgang Renz|
|Original Assignee||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (56), Non-Patent Citations (1), Classifications (15), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention concerns methods and devices for the determination of the position of a local coil for a magnetic resonance apparatus.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Magnetic resonance apparatuses for examination of patients, in particular by means of magnetic resonance tomography are known from DE 10 342 15B4, for example.
Modern magnetic resonance systems normally operate with multiple different antennas (also called coils in the following) to emit radio-frequency pulses for nuclear magnetic resonance excitation and/or to receive the induced magnetic resonance signals. A magnetic resonance system typically has a larger coil that is normally permanently installed in the apparatus, known as a whole-body coil (also called a body coil or BC), as well multiple small local coils (also called surface coils or LCs). In contrast to the whole-body coil, the local coils serve to acquire detailed images of body parts or organs of a patient that are located relatively near to the body surface. For this purpose the local coils are applied directly at the point of the patient at which the region to be examined is located. Given a use of such a local coil, in many cases the transmission occurs with the whole-body coil (as transmission coil) permanently installed in the magnetic resonance system and the induced magnetic resonance signals are received with the local coil (as reception coil).
The position of local coils used to receive the MR signals in the medical MR imaging can vary relative to the patient table and to the patient. Optical detection with a camera and RFID methods has been considered as solution approaches to determine the position. An additional known method uses the MR imaging itself in order to localize the coils. Disadvantages of the optical detection and the RFID method are the necessary additional components in the coil and/or in the MR scanner that incur costs. Disadvantages of the MR imaging are the time cost (a separate measurement is required for every bed (patient) position) and the problematic reliability (dependency on MR imaging parameters, for example B0 homogeneity, B1 homogeneity, in particular at the edge of the imaging volume).
An object of the present invention is to enable an optimally efficient determination of the position of a local coil of a magnetic resonance apparatus.
According to the invention, a device to determine the position of a local coil for a magnetic resonance apparatus, has a local coil to receive a signal emitted by at least one transmission coil, and a position determination device to evaluate the signal and determine from this signal the position of the local coil.
According to the invention, a method is also provided to determine the position of a local coil for a magnetic resonance apparatus, wherein at least one signal emitted by at least one transmission coil is received by the local coil and evaluated with a position determination device in order to determine the position of the local coil.
An advantage of the invention is the utilization of components that are generally already present for the position determination, which can yield a cost advantage. Even if an additional pickup coil were to be used for the new method instead of an existing coil, this component is extremely cost-effective since the entire activation and signal generation system is already present in the scanner (it can be operated at the MR transmission frequency).
Possible interferences with or negative effects on the measurement workflow are avoided since no additional time is required for a coil position detection, as in known MR methods.
A simple determination of the position of these local coils entails advantages for the system operation. For example, given a known position of the local coils it is possible to assign a reasonable combination of reception coils with measurement protocols automatically (without interaction with the user). Coils that are far removed from the imaging volume do not improve the SNR of the image, but rather to the contrary increase the noise level or intensify image artifacts (ambiguity artifacts—“third arm”) and therefore should not be activated. Furthermore, the known position of the local coils allows a measurement protocol to determine the possibilities (acceleration factors and directions) of the parallel imaging. This information can be used for an automatic determination of optimal acquisition parameters, for example, or be provided to the user in a suitable manner (limitation or suitable display of the reasonable range of protocol parameters).
In particular, a determination of the coil position is accomplished by measurement of the coupling of one or more (advantageously small) transmitting coils relative to at least one local coil upon driving the bed into the patient tunnel. A determination of the position of the local coil relative to the stationary transmitting coupling coil can ensue by evaluation of the signal, in particular by measurement of the amplitude and/or phase of the coupling of the two coils depending on the bed position (z-profile) and a maximum or zero crossing evaluation of the amplitude and/or phase.
In the event that, according to an embodiment of the invention, not just one but rather multiple coils are used as transmission coils, the precision of the measurement can be increased, or not only a z-position detection but also a detection of the azimuthal position can ensue.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the pickup coils of the body coil that are already present in many MR systems (which pickup coils serve to detect the body coil B1 fields in MR transmission operation) can be used for the transmitting coupling coils. The pickup coils have previously not been used during the insertion of the bed and could advantageously be connected alternately with a receiver device or with a signal source by crossover switches.
In addition to a co-planar arrangement of a transmitting coil relative to the local coil according to one embodiment of the invention, according to an additional embodiment of the invention an orthogonal arrangement of at least one transmitting coil relative to the local coil is also advantageous. It offers the advantage of a sharp zero crossing of the coupling amplitude as well as a detection of the structure of the local coil given advantageous geometric relationships.
In another embodiment of the invention, wherein a multi-channel transmission array is present in the tomography device, its elements are used in place of the pickup coils.
If, according to another embodiment of the invention wherein multiple transmission coils are used for coil detection, the signals can be differentiated, for example via different transmission frequencies or via a multiplexing (temporally offset transmission with the individual coils).
The position of the local coil 6 should be determined. For this a signal 8 emitted by at least one transmission coil 7 is received and evaluated with a position determination device 11 connected with the local coil 6 and the transmission coil 7 (and possibly the whole-body coil 2) directly or via other elements by schematically represented connections. With the position determination device 11, the position (relative to the transmission coil and, therefore, possibly relative to the patient bed and/or the patient and/or to the MRT whole-body coil) of the local coil 6 can be determined.
For position determination, the amplitude and/or phase of signals sent by at least one transmission coil 7 and received in the local coil 6 is evaluated in the position determination device 11.
The signal emitted by a transmission coil can also be a signal emitted specifically to enable the position determination of a local coil and/or a signal that is used only for this purpose.
The transmission coil or transmission coils and the local coil can be arranged coplanar to one another according to
In a co-planar arrangement according to
Given an orthogonal arrangement of the coils 6, 7 relative to one another according to
In addition to the amplitude of the signal which the local coil 6 receives from the transmission coil 7, the phase of this signal can also be evaluated.
Existing coils, in particular pickup coils of the body coil that serve to detect body coil B1 fields in the transmission operation of the body coil can be used as transmitting coils (here also called coupling coils). The pickup coils have previously not been used during the insertion of the bed and could be connected with a signal source 10 instead of with a receiver device via crossover switches such as switch 12. In principle, given the presence of a multi-channel transmission array it would also be possible to use its elements in place of the pickup coils.
By the use of more than one transmission coil (at different positions and/or different orientations and/or with different phases of its transmission signal), the position of the local coil can be determined in multiple dimensions. If multiple transmission coils are used for coil detection, their signals can be differentiated in the local coil, for example via different transmission frequencies or via a multiplexing (temporally offset transmission of the individual coils).
Although modifications and changes may be suggested by those skilled in the art, it is the intention of the inventors to embody within the patent warranted hereon all changes and modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of their contribution to the art.
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|U.S. Classification||324/207.13, 600/422, 324/207.17, 324/207.16, 324/318, 600/410, 324/309, 600/407, 324/207.15, 324/200|
|International Classification||G01R33/02, G01B7/14, G01B7/30|
|Cooperative Classification||G01R33/3642, G01R33/341|
|16 Mar 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BIBER, STEPHAN;FEIWEIER, THORSTEN;RENZ, WOLFGANG;REEL/FRAME:024084/0278
Effective date: 20100114
|28 Jun 2016||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIEMENS HEALTHCARE GMBH, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT;REEL/FRAME:039271/0561
Effective date: 20160610
|30 Jun 2017||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|